Saturday, November 30, 2013

Savor and Celebrate Advent

Slow down and savor the true beauty of the season

"We live in a goal-oriented society, and in this case, Christmas is the end zone that we’re running toward at breakneck speed, hardly looking at what’s going on along the sidelines. But our faith beckons us to stop the madness, to stop the running, to focus on the journey as much as the destination. And to do that the Church gives us the four-week season of Advent, with its beautiful interplay of darkness and light, with its scriptural focus not only on the coming of the Christ Child but on the second coming of Jesus Christ, and with its quiet but constant insistence that we prepare — not just for a day but for a lifetime, and for the next life" 

~ Mary De Turris Poust

 This Advent.....Stop the Clock

Friday, November 29, 2013

Center Yourself on Christ

'In Pope Francis' homily last Sunday, which officially closed the Year of Faith, he said, "The attitude demanded of us as true believers is that of recognizing and accepting in our lives the centrality of Jesus Christ, in our thoughts, in our words, and in our works."

In his book, "The Strangest Way: Walking the Christian Path," Fr. Barron explains how we can develop this attitude--how we can center ourselves on Christ." 

 In the 'Word on Fire' blog, Fr. Barron explains one specific way to "be with Christ"...

Read Entire Article HERE

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pope Francis' Evangelii Gaudium...Joy of the Gospel

(full text)



20 Quotes from Evangelii Gaudium

Monday, November 25, 2013

Reason for the Season

The conversion power of Mere Christianity

 "Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness," C. S. Lewis wrote.  "It therefore has nothing to say to people who do not know they have done anything to repent of and who do not feel that they need any forgiveness.  It is after you have realized that there is a real Moral Law, and a Power behind that law, and that you have broken that law and put yourself wrong with that Power — it is only after this, and not a moment sooner, that Christianity begins to talk."

The conversion power of Mere Christianity


And a glimpse at C.S. Lewis' life..."The World Beyond the Wardrobe"...

" Lewis often thought of himself, he said, as a “converted pagan living among apostate Puritans.”  What he meant by that, I think, is key to an understanding of his life and character.   That he regarded himself as someone for whom nothing less than finding the Well at the World’s End would ever truly satisfy.   Nothing less, he was sure, could possibly meet the tremendous thirst of the human spirit, the sheer irrepressible thrust of man’s longing for God.  Never mind the forces of encircling secularity, which conspire at almost every turn to deny the truth of the human heart, they mustn’t be allowed to stand in the way of deep, deep desire."

The World Beyond the Wardrobe

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Body and Blood of the Living God

A priest, therefore, makes the Real Presence possible, and no one, no king or prince or genius, nor the will of a thousand people or the combined efforts of a whole nation, can substitute for the power of a priest’s consecrated words: “This is my body. This is the chalice of my blood.”

And as the Fathers of the Church do not hesitate to say, there is no less a miraculous change taking place on the altar than took place in the womb of Mary at the moment of the Incarnation. Before she pronounced her words, there was no Christ on earth. The moment she did, He took dwelling in her body. The moment before the words of the priest are pronounced over the elements of bread and wine, there is just bread and wine. He pronounces them and then divine power — it has to be divine power — changes the substance of bread and wine into the very living Body and Blood of the living God.

The Priesthood and the Eucharist
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Our Lady of All Nations and the 5th Marian Dogma

From EWTN:
The 5th Marian Dogma

Five Ways Catholics Can Make a Real Difference

Think about the possibilities if we all made a sincere daily commitment, no matter how small, to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us.” - See more at:

Think about the possibilities if we all made a sincere daily commitment, no matter how small, to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us.” - See more at:

Five Ways Catholics Can Make a Real Difference
Think about the possibilities if we all made a sincere daily commitment, no matter how small, to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us.” - See more at:

Think about the possibilities if we all made a sincere daily commitment, no matter how small, to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us.” - See more at:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Franciscan University Faculty Blog

Franciscan University of Steubenville is one of the few truly Catholic colleges and universities left in America today.   The faculty includes many of the top Catholic scholars of the faith, including Dr. Scott Hahn and others.  Now the faculty has put together a blog  to comment and add discussion on today's spiritual issues.  It's not just  a blog for those students blessed to attend the Franciscan University of Steubenville. It is shared with all!

"Articles on Common Core, stem cells and cloning, heartfelt preaching advice for priests and deacons, Typhoon Haiyan, the election of Archbishop Kurtz, and more, written by professors Kuebler (biology), Martin (theology), Hendershott (sociology), Wiker (theology), and others. Check out our faculty blog site for the latest ways our professors are contributing to the important discussions of the day!"

Franciscan Faculty Blog

Friday, November 15, 2013

Catholics, Christendom, and Government Mandates

Very interesting article about the way Christendom is affected by different types of governments or regimes, and what Catholics must do to stay diligent  and true to their faith.

The article looks at the liberal trend in today's government and how 'inclusiveness' can really lead to intolerance, tyranny and  government mandates opposed to Catholic teaching. 

Catholics Will Likely Relive Past Persecutions

The author of the above article, James Kalb, also has a new book that examines the same issue in detail.....

"Diversity. Inclusiveness. Equality.--ubiquitous words in 21st-century political and social life. But how do those who police the limits of acceptable discourse employ these as verbal weapons to browbeat their often hapless fellows into having a "real conversation"? How do these terms function as mere doublespeak for the expectation of full-scale capitulation to the views of "right-thinking people"? Those who have long been afraid to touch the issues that attend these words will take great reassurance in an articulate statement of the kind presented in Against Inclusiveness, where the author's approach is sober and extremely well reasoned, as he attempts to marshal truth and fairness as criteria in the examination of issues critical to modern social life.

Kalb argues that in current inclusiveness ideology, "classifying people" becomes an exercise of power by the classifier that denies the dignity of the person classified. All rational consideration of human reality is thereby suspended, and the result is something arbitrary and increasingly tyrannical. Against Inclusiveness lays the foundation for what an honest, forthright, real conversation on these matters might look like."  (

Against Inclusiveness

New Book about John Paul II

( The world remembers John Paul II as ‘the great Pope,’ a gifted communicator and powerful evangelizer. He traveled the world meeting millions along the way, but it was a small group of collaborators who worked with him day in and day out. When it comes to John Paul II’s spirituality, his former collaborators shared details that up until now, where unknown to most people. MSGR. PAOLO PTASZNIK 
Vatican’s Secretariat of State
“Every morning he would look at an Atlantis map and choose a country. For that entire day, he would pray for that nation and its people. He  called it the ‘geography of prayer.’” 
Msgr. Ptasznik was only 33 when he started working for John Paul II, but perhaps the person who knew him best was Cardinal Stanislao Dziwisz. He was Karol Wojtyla’s personal secretary for almost 40 years.
His latest book which translates to ‘I lived with a Saint,’ describes John Paul II not only as a Pope, but above all else as a person. Gian Franco Svidercoschi, wrote the book based on the accounts of Dziwisz.
‘Ho Vissuto con un Santo,’ Author
“What strikes me the most is John Paul II’s daily sainthood, meaning he lived his holiness every day, under normal circumstances.” 
Another key point of John Paul II’s life and spirituality, both in the good times and the bad, were the Sacraments.
Vatican’s Secretariat of State 
“He celebrated Mass every day and even when he was hospitalized and couldn’t do it himself, he would ask someone to celebrate Mass with him. The Eucharist was a central part of his life and it’s also important to note that he would also go to Confession, at least once every two weeks.” 
“Karol Wojtyla was able to transmit hope to others, and he was able to move people who weren’t believers, including those who had distanced themselves any type of religious entity.” 
In light of John Paul II canonization on April 27th, the book attempts to give a human and private perspective of John Paul II, including how he managed to affect the Catholic Church and in essence, the world.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Commandments for Today's Pro-Life Movement

 Columnist Molly O'Connor writes in her column, "Catholic Womanhood", about 11 commandments needed for today's pro-life movement....

".......a set of commandments, to remind myself and others of how to argue as a person of faith. We are as Catholics called to be a voice for the voiceless, the most vulnerable. We have a duty to live out the Truth and communicate it when called upon to do so. We have a duty to use reason with our faith. But, adapting a catchphrase from my friends at Catholic Voices, we should aim to spread light and not heat....."

 Learn how here:

11 commandments for the 21st Century pro-life movement :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Remain with Christ...Always

"When Mary Magdalen came to the tomb and did not find the Lord’s body, she thought it had been taken away and so informed the disciples. After they came and saw the tomb, they too believed what Mary had told them. The text then says: “The disciples went back home,” and it adds: “but Mary wept and remained standing outside the tomb.” We should reflect on Mary’s attitude and the great love she felt for Christ; for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. She was still seeking the one she had not found, and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tell us: “Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved.”
 ~ Pope Saint Gregory the Great

Thursday, November 7, 2013

New President and Vice President of U.S. Bishops to Be Elected


Bishops will elect the next president and vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops during their annual fall meeting Nov. 11-14 in Baltimore. The two officers will be chosen from a slate of 10 nominees. They are pictured in alphabetical order from top, left: Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane, Wash., Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles. From bott om left are Archbishops Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., William E. Lori of Baltimore, Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati, Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit and Thomas G. Wenski of Miami On bishops’ agenda: elections, marriage
"WASHINGTON (CNS)—Elections for a new president and vice president, a discussion and vote on a Spanish-language book of prayers at Mass, and a proposal to develop a statement on pornography are among the items awaiting the U.S. bishops when they gather in Baltimore for their annual fall assembly.

At their Nov. 11-14 meeting at the Baltimore Waterfront Marriott Hotel, the bishops also will hear a status report on their strategic/pastoral plan and vote on the final translations from the International Committee on English in the Liturgy on liturgical practices regarding marriage and confirmation.
As is customary, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States, will address the assembly.

The bishops will elect the next president and vice president to lead the USCCB for the next three years from a slate of 10 candidates. Their term begins at the close of the meeting.
The candidates are: Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans; Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia; Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane, Wash.; Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston; Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles; Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., current USCCB vice president; Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore; Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati; Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit; and Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami.

Under USCCB bylaws, a president will be elected from the full slate. The vice president will be chosen from the remaining nine candidates. If a candidate does not receive more than half of the votes cast on the first ballot, a second ballot will be cast. If a third round of voting is necessary, the ballot will include the names of the top two vote-getters from the second ballot.
The bishops will vote on accepting the “Misal Romano” from Mexico as the base text for the Spanish-language missal used in U.S. parishes. The bishops’ conference of Mexico received approval from the Vatican, or “recognitio,” to use the text earlier this year. The U.S. version of the missal would be available by the end of 2014 or early 2015 under current USCCB plans.
Several adaptations in the missal also will be voted on by the bishops.
Other liturgical changes on which the bishops were expected to vote govern the celebration of marriage and confirmation.

If adopted by the bishops, the order of celebrating marriage will be sent to the Vatican for “recognitio.” A second vote on four adaptations to the order also is planned.
The order of confirmation that will be considered is a retranslation from ICEL and would bring the order into accordance with the norms of “Liturgiam Authenticam” (“The Authentic Liturgy”), the 2001 document on liturgical translations from the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

The bishops also will vote for chairmen-elect of the committees on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, Child and Youth Protection, Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Evangelization and Catechesis, and International Justice and Peace. They serve as chairmen-elect for one year then begin a three-year term as chairmen of their respective committees in November 2014.

A new chairman will be elected to head the Committee on Catholic Education and will begin his term at the conclusion of the meeting. He will succeed Bishop Joseph P. McFadden of Harrisburg, Pa., who died May 2.

A vote on new members of the boards of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. and Catholic Relief Services also is on the agenda."


List of Catholic Bishops of the United States

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Catholic Dictionary by John A. Hardon, S.J.


 This looks like a good reference book to have in your personal library!

Read a review of it here:

Add to Your Collection: Catholic Dictionary


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pope praises 'ridiculous' tax collector who sought Jesus

Pope praises 'ridiculous' tax collector who sought Jesus :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

“And this is your Father, it is God, it is Jesus who awaits you. Climb up, just as Zaccheus did; climb the tree of your desire to be forgiven. I assure you that you will not be disappointed. Jesus is merciful and never gets tired of forgiving.”

Priest's Near-Death Experience of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory

A priest who saw heaven, hell, and purgatory on 4/14/85.  The priest whose testimony is given below is the pastor of a Catholic Church in Florida.

Priest Sees Bishops And Priests In Heaven And Hell After A Near Death Experience 

One Priest’s Sobering Account Of The Afterlife!